How To Keep Your Loved One's Funeral Environmentally Friendly

14 October 2014
 Categories: Religion & Spirituality, Blog


If your loved one passes away, then you need to visit a funeral home to make arrangements. If your family member lived a green and natural lifestyle, then you should make arrangements according to their beliefs. There are many ways that you can make your family member's funeral a green one, so read through some of the suggestions listed below.

Skip the Embalming

If your loved one wants to be buried in a cemetery plot, then you will likely display the body in a casket during the wake or viewing. In most cases, a body will be embalmed to stop the natural decomposition process. This allows the body to look more natural during the viewing. Embalming is not required according to Canadian law, unless your loved one passed away from a contagious disease. If you move the body from one province to another, then the process is required too. However, If you intend on holding your family member's funeral only a few days after their death, then embalming is almost entirely unnecessary.

Embalming is not considered an environmentally friendly practice, because strong chemicals like formaldehyde, methanol, and other preservatives are pumped into the body. These chemicals can easily leach into the soil once your loved one decomposes, and the chemicals can then end up in your local waterways. This means that you should skip the process entirely. Your loved one's body will likely be refrigerated instead, until the casket is buried.

Choose a Bamboo Casket

Caskets are made out of a wide variety of materials, and steel, maple, walnut, and mahogany are among the most common. Unfortunately, hardwood trees take a long time to grow, and fossil fuels must be utilized to create steel products. This means that a normal casket places a great deal of stress on the environment. This is not true of bamboo caskets.  

Bamboo is a fast growing plant that contains fibers that are as strong as wood. The material can be grown in a wide variety of countries, and this means that it is highly renewable. Bamboo is processed as well, so that wastes are not left behind. The funeral home you use may not have bamboo caskets on display, but the business will be able to contact manufacturers to find the product you desire.  

Forego the Flowers

Many people order flowers for funerals, and these flowers are placed in plastic or cardboard containers. You may think that flowers are a renewable and natural product. This may be true, but the foam that is often used to keep the flowers moist is not environmentally friendly. This foam is made out of plastic and other chemicals. This means it will not degrade when placed into a landfill. The foam is only used for a short period of time, and this can create an unnecessary waste during your loved one's funeral.

Many people will call funeral homes to ask about purchasing flowers for a funeral. Make sure your funeral director knows that you are not accepting flowers. Ask your funeral director to ask individuals for donations to your family member's favorite charity instead.

Family members who lead a green lifestyle should be honored during funerals with environmentally friendly services. The suggestions above can help you to arrange this with the funeral home that you choose, such as Simply Cremations & Funeral Services.